5 Employee Screening Tips

By Published On: June 1, 2022Categories: Member Blog

Regardless of industry or service sector, the subject of screening applicants will avail itself. It is inevitable. Employee theft is a rampant problem across all industries and cannabis is certainly no different. From food service to retail, from construction to shipping and logistics. It happens, costing hundreds of millions of dollars annually and shutting down businesses. What are we trying to prevent, or at least mitigate?

In a word? Loss.

To help you navigate the waters, here are 5 tips from Ingage Security.

1. Image always matters

Remember that image always matters, especially if this person will be representing your brand or that of your clients. During the interview, remember to assess the applicant’s overall demeanor. How was the handshake? What about punctuality and appearance? Are they likable?

2. Evaluate the candidate’s behavior during the interview

When you ask the applicant your questions, are they repeating them back to you? Are they being overly evasive? Are they displaying grooming behaviors, such as playing with their hair or touching their lips repeatedly? How is the eye contact? Do they seem distracted or non-present? Are they using many dead space fillers when they speak? Like many things, though, detecting a lie often comes down to one thing—trusting your instincts. By knowing what signs might accurately detect a lie and learning how to heed your own gut reactions, you may be able to become better at spotting falsehoods. If something seems off but you cannot put your finger on it, try asking them to recount a story they just told you in reverse. Remember the adage, when you’re being honest, you don’t need a great memory. Lying is more mentally taxing than telling the truth. If you add even more cognitive complexity, behavioral cues may become more apparent.

3. Conduct the right kind of background check

When running a background check, make sure it goes back at least seven years. Nothing is perfect as we know, and these are no exception. Part of the main problem is the background check mechanism itself. Example, a check will show criminal convictions for felonies. Depending on the platform or service used, they will show sex offender registry or domestic watch list registry along with professional licensing verification. But, you will not see arrests that led to plea deals. They won’t show a poor driving history or multiple citations for driving without current registration or insurance. The latter might seem trivial, but it also shows a pattern of disregard for the law. And you cannot allow that. Of course, we cannot and do not advocate for any one resource, but a quick web search will provide a number of platforms that provide ratings and reviews at no cost to the consumer. Feel free to check them out and choose whatever you feel works best for you.

4. Use the right kind of drug screening

If you require drug tests prior to employment, we recommend using Ten Panel Screening. If you choose to outsource, LabCorp and Quest will set up corporate accounts for you. If you decide to keep everything “in-house” (which is ABSOLUTELY your right), websites like https://12panelnow.com/ offer a wide range of affordable products. Both options have pros and cons. For example, in house provides faster result delivery, but because those results are not being reviewed by an objective Medical Review Officer (MRO), questions about impartiality can arise more easily than if performed in a state licensed 3rd party lab.

5. Run a credit check

If the applicant is being considered for a management position, we recommend running a credit check from all three reporting bureaus: Experian, Equifax, and Transunion. Granted, millions of Americans have less than stellar credit and that alone should never disqualify one from employment.

Also, bankruptcy is no longer the four-letter word it was even 20 years ago. Life happens to us all, after all. But what if it shows a lengthy derogatory history and/or numerous opened and subsequent closed lines of credit? Or massive credit card debt, defaulted mortgage, liens, or bank loans? Bankruptcy stands apart: Perhaps someone hit a rough patch with investments or a divorce or any one of a dozen things. Again, life happens. Or perhaps, it may reveal someone to be a less than ideal choice for positions involving cash handling. Look closely at the details to make a determination.

Trust your gut when evaluating applicants

Remember that it is very much OK to trust your gut on someone you really like or in whom you see potential. Assuming nothing comes back that raises the old red flag, you can use this as an opportunity to get to know the applicant beyond how they appear on paper.

The ideas expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and not of the New Jersey CannaBusiness Association.

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